Sunday, 31 July 2011

31/07/2011

ABOC Sprint Training @ DISC:
1 x 1/4 lap Power jump @ 82"
1 x F100 Entry @ 82"
3 x 1/4 lap Power jump from 15km/h in pairs, react to lead rider @ 96"
1 x 375m MAC, @ 106"
1 x 500m MAC, @ 106"
1 x 625m MAC @ 106"
2 x 125m Gate starts @ 98"

The second MAC was the best of the lot, after the initial acceleration Nathan had the speed constantly going up until my world started to taste like copper.

It hurts me to say, but my left foot gate start may have been better than the one where my right foot started first. I'd like to get some time splits to know for sure if it is in fact faster.

CE: 1

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 30 July 2011

30/07/2011

Hell Ride:
I was still coughing up green oysters as we rolled from Cafe Racer down to Blackrock, so to say I was ok with the suggestion that the ride roll out under control (in memory of John Cornish).

The northerly wind kept the bunch together until Olivers and helped me up Olivers and left me enough in the legs to try and move up on the next few.

I did my best to hide from the headwind on the way home until the bunch going single file in the gutter forced me to move up from the back to seek a bit more shelter or at the very least avoid being caught by a split.

We all forwent the sprint (not that I had the legs anyway) in favour of another controlled ride and a moment of silence.

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I feel like a jerk for being grateful, for the controlled conditions ensuring I got around with the bunch, given the circumstances that lead to it. It would be a lie to say I wasn't though, as my first ride after a man flu affected week it was just about spot on.

D: 96.9km
A: 325m

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 29 July 2011

29/07/2011

Lazy:
I would like to not be sick now, it's effecting my ability to train which is effecting my endorphin receptors.

PMPW: 91kg

Thursday, 28 July 2011

28/07/2011

Power Haus:
2 x 1m Row
1 x 100 Skips
2 x 5 @ 25kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 45kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 55kg Low bar squat
1 x 2 @ 85kg Low bar squat
3 x 5 @ 95kg Low bar squat

1 x 5 @ 20kg Bench press
3 x 5 @ 67.5kg Bench press

1 x 4 @ 40kg Power clean
3 x 4 @ 75kg Power clean

95kg felt heavier than in the past, maybe being sick does take a bit out of my strength and not just endurance as I've thought (until now).

My for broke down on the power cleans. Next time, the weight goes down. This makes it the second exercise, thankfully it's still onwards and upwards with press, bench press and dead lifts.

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

27/07/2011

Commute:
After a night of fitful coughing and spluttering I opted out of NRR entirely. Poor sleep and an inability to get a full lung of oxygen 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% argon and some other junk convinced me it was the wise choice.

As a small consolation prize (or just proof that I'm soft for not doing NRR), I dominated the 8:45am southern districts commuter cup (races are noted by their arrival time in the CBD).

D: 14.4km
A: 40m

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

26/07/2011

Commute:
Finally a week where I don't have to alter my training due to a race.

Instead I may have to alter it due to sickness.

Gay.

D: 13.8km
A: 40m

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 25 July 2011

25/07/2011

Commute:
There's a few basic ideas, things relating to goals, that have been bouncing around my mind of late.

The first is power to weight, in particular the latter bit. I try hard not to get too antsy about it (here comes the inevitable but), but (ah there it is) rocking up to the Melbourne to Ballarat at 94kg isn't Kosher. I don't think I'm fat, in years gone past I'd be giddy to have these sort of fat levels in the middle of winter (cold toes aside), but (oh man i totally didn't expect that but, it crept up on me!) on the hills gravity will always find you and make you pay (Fuck you gravity, I paid last hill. I don't have any more money, can I pay you next time?).

The second is related, sort of. It's the first part of the above equation and where to use it this summer. I've been enjoying training on Sundays behind Carl and Nath on the moto. I've begun to think about racing more track, maybe doing the metros, state champs and summer track carnivals. I might have to mess around in masters categories to get a competitive ride, I may even (oh god I'm going to regret saying this) consider including the Kilo on the list of events to do (oh shit, what have I done?!).

D: 14.1km
A: 65m

PMPW: 92kg

Sunday, 24 July 2011

24/07/2011

ABOC Sprint Training @ DISC:
1 x 1/4 lap Power jump @ 82"
1 x F100 Entry @ 82"
2 x 1/4 lap Power jumps in triples @ 82"
1 x 250m MAC rider @ 98"
1 x 250m MAC solo last 100m @ 98"
1 x 750m windout solo last 100 @ 82"
1 x 35 lap Neil is a makeshift motorbike - 1km rolling ITT @ 82"

MAC's followed by a windouts, sitting on the rail waiting for my turns I was nauseous with just the thought of it. I always find speeds hard to judge riding around the banks, generally erring to the side of caution... but behind Nathan on the moto we were honking.

PMPW: 91kg

Saturday, 23 July 2011

23/07/2011

Melbourne to Ballarat:
Though I knew some of the riders I was a little intimidated by the fact I was in the 9 minute bunch. I didn't want to be dropped and have to roll up the hwy solo, I really didn't want to have to catch the sag wagon. Effectively that was the only goals I set, to work, to hurt, to get there in one piece.

Off the start things were steady. A lack of wind meant we were rolling turns in the high 40km/h zone. I worked through the flat sections until Bacchus Marshish but up the first part of the ascent of Pentland Hills I was struggling to come through. My heart rate was bouncing around my VO2 limit and so I stopped coming through.

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After Pykes resevoir I started to work a bit again, but on the hill up towards Gordon I droped out to the back. Not long after that the chopping block caught us. They were a massive much, containing everyone who'd started between us and them. As a bunch (ie the 9 minute bunch) we kicked and merged ourselves into a rolling colossus. The pace was 5-6km/h hour faster than we had been going and my heart rate was 10-20 beats lower.

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Then scratch caught us and everyone let the guys who get their bikes for free do the work, there was no way in hell I was coming through for a turn, it was now their race to control.

Up one of the small risers along the hwy near Ballarat, both my hip flexors spasmed, no that's not quite the right word, it wasn't full cramps, more like the tightest muscles I've ever experienced. I stood up to try and shift the load to different muscle groups, to stretch them out, really anything that I could to keep my bike moving forward and to stay in contact with the bunch. I must have lost 30 places by the time I crested the hill but I was still on the bunch. I shook my quads and gave the flexors a quick knuckling and resumed trying to hold a good bunch position.

It was awesome fun, watching elite riders jockeying for position, the accelerations as people (fruitlessly) try to get away from the inevitable bunch sprint. I had no intention of kicking for the line and getting in the way of those vying for fastest time honours, but I didn't want to get dropped like last year. That seems like a theme for my race this year. Avoiding the fate of previous attempts.

So there we have it, I survived to the end but didn't do anywhere near as many turns as I had imagined in my head. I still got a hard workout, but maybe not as hard as I could. Next time it would be good to be a strong rider of the 9 minute bunch rather than just an occasional aid.

D: 94.8km
A: 845m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 22 July 2011

22/07/2011

Commute:

D: 13.7km
A: 45m

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 21 July 2011

21/07/2011

Rest:
I nicked off work today, mostly to spend some time riding on different saddles as the one on my road bike is looking somewhat saggy and sad. Its times like that it's not what you know, it's who. The boys were nice enough to let me set up their fit bike to my size and cycle through (I think I'm going to hell for that pun) a bunch of their saddles.

Handicaps for this weekend's Melbourne to Ballarat came out today, and before I got around to checking them I received this message.

"In an attempt to get a better mark for the M2B i wrote that you and i were similar in ability, even though we haven't ridden together since the 2009 melburn-roobaix. but instead of me being pushed back to your mark, it seems you have been brought up to mine. sorry about that.

oh, and now i've scratched. been crook.

sorry about that too.
"

So to the man responsible for getting me into the 9 minute bunch, thank you. It's things like this that will make me faster than you. Well they will if I manage to hold onto David Kelly's wheel. He's once again is in my bunch (or am I in his?).

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

20/07/2011

NRR: (long)
I wanted to save more of my energy for the hills around Frankston/Mt Eliza, to gauge my form a bit better than last time.

Being closer to the front, what I now realise is that there is a shortcut to Mt Eliza somewhere along the way, and thus many of the large group I saw there previously may not have done the full route. That made me feel somewhat better about it.

I still wasn't as quick/competitive as I'd hope (some would suggest I'm overly competitive). Some of it will have been the hard weekend/Monday, some will be additional body weight, I'll keep at it and see how things progress.

D: 104.4km
A: 465m

Commute:

D: 7.5km
A: 25m

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

19/07/2011

Commute:
There was no punch in my legs today. Not even the early edition of the commuter cup could cajole any power into my pedals.

D: 13.7km
A: 45m

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 18 July 2011

18/07/2011

Commute:
D: 13.7km
A: 45m

Power Haus:
2 x 1min Row
1 x 100 Skips

2 x 5 @ 20kg Squat
1 x 5 @ 45kg Squat
1 x 5 @ 55kg Squat
1 x 2 @ 85kg Squat
3 x 5 @ 95kg Squat

1 x 5 @ 20kg Press
1 x 5 @ 47.5kg Press
1 x 4 @ 47.5kg Press
1 x 5 @ 47.5kg Press

1 x 5 @ 47.5kg Dead lift
1 x 5 @ 120kg Dead lift

3 x 5 Chin ups

I, Neil Robinson, am an idiot. I did one set of press and thought "that was difficult, but I was able to complete it with out major concerns, I should, after a period of sufficient rest, be able to complete the next two sets and thus record a new PB in this exercise of pressing." That wasn't the idiot part, the idiot part was where I didn't take sufficient rest and thus failed after 4 reps in the middle set. I WANT MY PB!

In other news information that's not overly newsworthy but is still important to me. My back form in squats is continuing to improve, I will add some weight back next week and see what happens, my hope is that the bar will be heavier, but I don't want to jump to any conclusions this far out.

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 17 July 2011

17/07/2011

ABOC Sprint Training @ DISC:
1 x 1/4 lap Power jump
1 x F100 Entry
3 x 1/4 lap pjump from 10km/h in pairs, react to following rider (82")
4 x Over/Under - Duck and Dive (88")
1 x Neil is a makeshift motorbike - 1km rolling ITT (88")

The Over/Under - Duck and Dive drills were pretty cool. A drill to practice riding while looking over alternate shoulders (over/under) and then both (duck and dive) finished with a following rider initiated sprint. Nick Marc got me on 3 of the 4 efforts with my only victory coming from one of my 2nd time following. He's been experimenting with starting his acceleration from in the saddle and I can attest, it's effective when you're forced to react. You just don't see him coming until it's too late and he's already got excess speed.



The final effort was for the enduros, Mason was doing take a lap drills so I set a steady tempo for him to pursue. He'd just made a catch with 5 laps to go and I knew he'd be struggling to take another lap, or even start the effort, so I pinned it and gave him a 1km effort to sit on.

CE: 1

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 16 July 2011

16/07/2011

Melbourne - Arthurs Seat - Arthurs Seat - Sorrento - Melbourne:
The plan was simple, meet in St Kilda, ride to/with the Hell Ride to Mt Eliza, keep going to Arthurs Seat and then come home. Well, that's what I thought the plan was when I opted to go with it rather than the Hell Ride and a race with Footsgray CC.

The Hell Ride was a giggle, I may have instigated a rise in speed by rolling over the front and questioning the masculinity of those I found there.

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I set about getting a solid E3 effort up Arthurs Seat and once at the top I turned, rolled down to the last rider and paced them up. As I rolled to the bottom after that extra effort I noted that the others had started a second attempt. No one told me about repeats I cried and desperately tried to resist the urge to turn immediately so I could gauge my efforts off theirs. Instead I went to the bottom again and restarted, this time with all the riders in front of me, rather than behind like the first effort.

The rest of the ride was without great incident, a few shenanigans from Martha Cove through to Mornington ensured that we were all riding home into the headwind on empty legs.

I don't know how hard the others were going on Arthurs, but to crest the ascent first was good for the confidence, maybe I've been moving the goalposts on myself and thus judging my performances harshly. I have a suspicion that some of the others just set an even tempo or left their efforts to the second ascent and thus my personal assessments are on the money.

D: 206.5km
A: 1,455m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 15 July 2011

15/07/2011

Commute:



D: 14.3km
A: 65m

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 14 July 2011

14/07/2011

NRR:
Rain (check), Hail (unfortunately not) or shine (at 6am? hahahahaha!) I was doing NRR today and I was going to give myself a reality check on my form.

The bunch wasn't massive, but what it lacked in size it made up for in David Kelly. During the course of the ride I told him no less than 2 times that he's a bad man... justifiably I think as he spent the whole ride on the front tearing everyone a new one.

I did my bit, staying in the from 10 riders and rolling through for most of the ride.

I could have done without the pothole i didn't see, the one that left my handlebars 15° lower than when I started the ride and forced me to complete the ride in the drops.

So how about that reality check? I'm down on form, even if we think about just a few weeks ago.

D: 45.1km
A: 145m

Commute:

D: 13.8km
A: 45m

Power Haus:
2 x 1m Row
1 x 100 Skips
2 x 5 @ 25kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 45kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 55kg Low bar squat
1 x 2 @ 85kg Low bar squat
3 x 5 @ 95kg Low bar squat

1 x 5 @ 20kg Bench press
2 x 5 @ 67.5kg Bench press
1 x 4 @ 67.5kg Bench press

1 x 4 @ 40kg Power clean
3 x 4 @ 70kg Power clean



I backed the weight of my squats right back and worked to keep my shoulders pulled back hard and my lower back tight/flat. 80% of the lifts I succeeded and the weight went up quickly and easily, a few my form broke and it took a bit of a push. I think 95-100kg is about the right weight for me to continue to work on this form.

Next time I'll get that final rep and a new bench press PB, next time I'll get another PB on power cleans and also get closer to the Haus record. 80kg (the current record) seems really achievable on this one, even if I have to sit down between each rep (like I did tonight) while my head stops spinning.

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

13/07/2011

Commute:
I fear I'm turning into a whinging, little, excuse making, softcock. "Boo hoo, I haven't been able to ride". Bullshit! If you want it enough you'll go riding regardless of how much sleep you've had.

As this goes on I have become aware of and amused by by the fragility of the human, in particular my own, ego/confidence. I was told about a ride in the morning, a loop of the TdB route with some mates, but I declined because I want to need to prove myself against fast(er) riders. Tomorrow, come hell or high water (the latter being quite probable), I will do North Road and love it.

D: 14.3km
A: 60m

CE: 1

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

12/07/2011

Commute:
I'd hoped today would be the end of my time off the bike, that tomorrow I could wake up and ride, given that I just got home and had missed the end of the tour and have another busy day tomorrow, I strongly doubt I will.

To my road bike, if you're reading this, I'll be with you soon.

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 11 July 2011

11/07/2011

Commute:
I might have to take another hit on training this week, I'm going to do my best to load up the next few days so I can string a few days together afterwards. I'd ideally like to get Wednesday North Road (long) in, Thursday in the Haus and race Footscray on the weekend.

It's frustrating to be in this position two weeks in a row, but I guess that's life.

In other news I bailed on getting on the foam roller at all today. I'm scared of it.

D: 13.8km
A: 40m

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 10 July 2011

10/07/2011

Lazy:
I'm smoked today, my legs, especially my hips, are telling me that I haven't treated them with care and respect.

So I spent the day on the couch watching the idiot box with my feet up on my slosh ball. I'm glad I've found a use for it that will make me faster.

Stretching my hips was not fun, but it's necessary and after the first few minutes of sweating and shaking the pain sensors seemed to realise I wasn't going to respond to their cries.

PMPW: 93kg

Saturday, 9 July 2011

9/07/2011

Cecil Shore Memorial 120km:
As I drove in to Hamilton it was not a lovely day, far better than the last time, but still cold and windy. On the line I had 17 other blokes, I was reassured to see some faces I recognised from racing in Melbourne.

The wind was westerly, a cross wind that pushed us into an echelon that petered out to a line of guys single file against the centre line. I knew that was a bad place to be so kept myself in the front pulling turns. By the time we reached the turn around at Cavendish many of those on the back had fallen off. A few minutes later as we passed the point where we'd seen limit going the other way, we got a big mental lift (well I did anyway). We'd taken minutes out of the leaders into the head wind, there was an air of excitement... well there would have been if the wind wasn't driving it sideways off the road.

We whipped through Hamilton and headed towards Macarthur, the lowest point of the race. I'd never seen this road before, I wrongly assumed it to be much like the trip to Cavendish. I was wrong, it was hilly and those hills were starting to hurt my legs. I was also greatly irritated by riders who I hadn't seen pulling turns coming out of nowhere to take sprint points. I called several people "cocks" and kept pulling turns because by the time we reached the cone in the middle of the road in Macarthur (the final turn around point) we were in the lead with a 5 minute gap on scratch. Despite my body slowly deteriorating under the strain it was exhilarating to be in the lead, I kept an ear out for updates from the commisaire's car behind and it seemed like we might even stay away. I turned to one of the stronger guys who'd been putting in more turns than anyone else and swore that if we made it I'd bury myself to put him over the line.

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What now seems like mere moments later, we hit another sprint, this time the stronger riders cracked the shits and contested it to show those sitting on what they were messing with. I tried to go with the surge, but the immediate turn up into the long climb out of town had me cooked in seconds and I let the wheel go. 20km from home.

From what I understand, the guy I'd promised my efforts to, David Kelly, attacked the bunch and went solo to the line for the win. Me? I'd estimate I came in somewhere in the top 50, I found a few others out on the road and we dragged ourselves home together. 300m out from the line one turned and asked "We're not really going to sprint are we?". My only response was to grin and kick hard.

I believe my form in pacelines is a bit off. I'm never sure how much to ease off when i pull across (I was asked to ease back once or twice) and I still dont have a great judgement for where their front wheel is in relation to mine. A small thing that I'll get better at, it will help keep my cohorts alive and even better, it'll save a touch more of my own fitness so I can finish off races.

D: 121.5km
A: 730m

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 8 July 2011

8/07/2011

Commute:
I'm slightly lost with regards to what I want from tomorrow. I've been trying to set out a list of things to achieve and to solidify my aims before I rock up but after a solid week, none of which was on the bike, I'm really struggling to string ideas together.

The words that spring to mind when I've thought about it are nervous, blase, tentative, unethused. In short as I said yesterday it should be good to get 120km of in the box riding. Inherent in that is finishing.

D: 13.8km
A: 45m

CE: 1

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 7 July 2011

7/07/2011

Commute:
Handicaps for Saturday are up and I'm off 16 minutes, the same mark I was given 2 years ago when I last rocked up.

My aim this time is to check my brakes aren't rubbing before I start racing. Win/lose, catch/caught, these things don't matter, what I need more than anything else is the practice in a full effort pace line in adverse conditions and of course the 120km of in the hurt box racing.

D: 13.9km
A: 45m

PMPW: 91kg

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

6/07/2011

Commute:

D: 13.8km
A: 50m

Intervals:
Past me get's a bad wrap, generally he's a jerk who commits me to painful courses of action. Today I'd like to thank past me, for once he was an awesome dude.... who committed me to a painful course of action.

I walked in the door at 9:00pm after a long long day, and there sitting silent was my bike, already on the trainer, waiting for me to get on and suffer.

1 x 10min E1
1 x 10min E3
1 x 10min E1
1 x 10min E3
1 x 10min E1

The first effort took an eternity and it was difficult to hold the required intensity. The second. The second effort was angry, very angry. The dulcet tones of Phil Anselmo taking me to a place where pain was my friend and 53x12 sprint finish was always going to happen.

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

5/07/2011

Commute:
Another day without training, normally 2 days off after a hard weekend is not a bad thing, generally it any comment it would illicit would be praising the situation. So why the long face? Why the concerned tone?

Firstly races are coming up quick and fast and I need to make the most of the opportunities I have to get some performance gains from myself. Secondly, and I think more importantly, I don't see the lack of opportunities to hurt changing this week.

D: 14.1km
A: 60m

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 4 July 2011

4/07/2011

Commute:
I've got a few reasons fr not riding today, but only one of them is relevant to actual cycling. My legs still hurt.

I didn't say it was a good reason and to be honest I'm questioning even mentioning it, but I know it'll make Jeff happy to know he can still induce DOMS at will, so there it is. Right in the glutes and the calves.

D: 13.7km
A: 45m

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 3 July 2011

3/07/2011

Jeff's:
Jeff is moving, so the shed sessions as we know them are coming to an end. It only seemed right to give Jeff, the bloke that taught me how to suffer and keep on going, a gift.

The only gesture that seemed fitting was the gift of my body to punish.

10 x 30 sec Jump in/out of tyre (30 sec rest between sets)
1 x 1 min Rest
10 x 30sec Rope shenanigans (30sec rest between sets)
1 x 1 min Rest
Seemingly never ending100m Sled @ 40kg drags
1 x 1 min Rest
10 x 30 sec Cleans @ 50kg
1 x 5 Clean and Jerks @ 50kg

The sled drags were the killer, hard sprinting for your effort, then jog beside your partner as they return the sled to the start of your effort. Repeat.

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 2 July 2011

2/07/2011

Scotty's Race:
I felt "ok" before the race, which made me nervous, mostly because I race best when I'm nervous, so there I was, watching bunch after bunch roll off up the road, worried that i wasn't worried enough.

Anyway, we finally rolled out and I set about rolling turns. After about an hour my legs hurt, I hadn't seen my HR drop below 82% and we weren't catching bunches, just ones and twos. I put my faith in the handicapper, my team mates and my legs and kept rolling around as we repeatedly turned with and against the wind. The only time I checked the distance (expecting to have 10km to go) I was shocked to find we had over 30km to the line. I'll admit, that one dented my motivation slightly.

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At around 10km to go, scratch caught us, making a nice big bunch that was easy to sit on, but I was drifting backwards, the extra couple of km/h were taking their toll and after a km or two I was on the back at the end of a single file tail. Beside me Clarky popped and let go, I knew I wasn't far off doing so myself, so I submitted to the inevitable so I would have a friend to ride home with.

All up I'm destroyed and happy. That was a solid day in the saddle, 2 hours and 24 minutes with an average of HR of 169bpm, that includes the 10ish km roll home with Clarky (i.e. that would have dropped it). I know I could be faster, I know I could be harder, but it's not as bad as I feared it could be. Next test is next week at Hamilton.

D: 98.4km
A: 200m

PMPW: 92kg

Friday, 1 July 2011

1/07/2011

Commute:
What happens when you take a rider used to training in the morning and add in a race that doest start until 1pm (salt to taste)? You get thoughts of doing the Hell Ride before going to the race.

I'm not going to, but I really want to.



D: 13.7km
A: 40m

PMPW: 92kg